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Overall strong growth for North American plastics machinery market in 2012: SPI

Orders for injection molding machines, blown-film lines, auxiliary equipment, thermoforming equipment, and hot runners were all up in North America compared to 2011, according to new statistics from the Society of the Plastics Industry’s...


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April 8, 2013 by Canadian Plastics

Orders for injection molding machines, blown-film lines, auxiliary equipment, thermoforming equipment, and hot runners were all up in North America compared to 2011, according to new statistics from the Society of the Plastics Industry’s (SPI) Equipment Council.

On the flip side, annual orders for single-screw extruders were down slightly and orders for blow molding machines fell dramatically, to 67 units in 2012 from 85 units in 2011.

According to Washington, DC-based SPI, there were 3,080 injection molding machines shipped in North America in 2012, with a value of US$846.9 million. Fourth quarter 2012 injection molding machines orders totaled 844 units, 15 per cent higher than in Q4 2011. The annual total for the number of injection molding machines ordered in 2012 was up 16 per cent when compared to 2011, and the value of those machines was up 20 per cent, SPI said.

There were a total of 933 extrusion shipments in 2012, valued at US$130.7 million. New orders for single-screw extruders totaled 251 units in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 27 per cent compared to thethird quarter and 14 per cent highercompared with Q4 2011. There were 25 twin-screw extruders ordered in the fourth quarter, down four from the third quarter but up two compared to Q4 2011. For the full year, twin-screw units were down 29 per cent compared to 201.

There were 91 blow molding machines shipped in North America in 2012, excluding large units, with a value of US$82.8 million. The full year dollar value of blow molding machine orders in 2012 was down 34 per cent compared with 2011, SPI said. The US$10.7 million worth of blow molding machines ordered in the fourth quarter was up 7 per cent compared with the third quarter, but it was down 63 per cent compared with Q4 2011.

There was US$315 million worth of sales for the auxiliary sector in 2012, second only to injection molding machines in terms of total dollar value, with more than 35,000 units shipped last year. The total number of auxiliary machines booked in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 9,196 units, SPI said, up 8 per cent from the third quarter and 21 per cent higher than Q4 2011. In total, units ordered were up 17 per cent for all of 2012 when compared with the annual total from 2011, with the total value for auxiliary bookings for all of 2012 up 15 per cent.

There were 5,264 hot runner units booked in 2012, an increase of 2 per cent gain over 2011. SPI also reported a sharp drop in all categories of hot runner orders in Q4 2012. Manifold systems fell sharply while hot valves fell slightly. Both valve gates and open gates declined.

Finally, there were 173 new orders for thermoforming equipment in 2012, which is an increase of 24 per cent over 2011. For the fourth quarter, there were 47 units ordered, up 20 units from the third quarter and 22 units year over year. In terms of value, Q4 orders were up 90 per cent compared to the third quarter and 61 per cent over Q4 2011, SPI said.